As we all know, Tom Pope’s Vale journey has came to an end, after several years at the club Tom has finally made a decision to leave the Valiants. I am quite saddened that Tom has made a decision to leave Vale, and hopefully our chairman Norman will bring someone who is able to make up for Tom’s latest departure.
The 29-year-old, from Sneyd Green, today signed a three-year contract with the Shakers after turning down Vale’s offer of a pay cut of around 50 per cent to stay.
The Shakers are two years into a five-year plan to reach the Championship and the move to the Lancashire club means Pope can travel from the Potteries.
He said: “It was massively difficult. Everyone who knows me knows I am a Vale fan and half my friends and family are season ticket holders.
“But this isn’t just for me it is for my family. I would have liked nothing more than to sign a new deal with Port Vale but the club have had to make a decision with season-ticket sales and their money coming in. What I was asked to take was too much of a cut, especially with lots of other clubs interested in me.”
Pope’s exploits for Vale include 33 goals to help them to promotion back to League One in 2012/13 when he was named League Two player of the year. He’s also been named Vale’s player of the year twice and scored 12 goals last season despite missing three months of the campaign after knee surgery.
He said: “I feel lucky to have played as long as I did for Port Vale and achieved what we did.
“I don’t want to fall out with anyone. The chairman has to look after the club and run it as close to a profit as he can to keep it going.
“But I can’t change the finances of the club so I have had to make the decision that is best for me and my family. I have no complaints about Port Vale.